The Ray-Rangers Game 5 match-up of David Price and Cliff Lee presents an amazing lead-in to the 2010 ALCS. Winner takes all on Tuesday night, as the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are the final teams playing in the ALDS.
After the Rangers won the first two games of the series, the Rays game back to win Game 3 and Game 4, setting up Game 5 at Tropicana Field on Tuesday night. The series could not have been scripted to be more exciting, and now the ace of each staff will take to the mound to try to propel his team into the 2010 ALCS against the New York Yankees.
Having Lee and Price on the mound mirrors the pitching match-ups for Game 1 of this series, which took place back on Oct. 6. The Texas Rangers won that game 5-1 on the back of Cliff Lee, who pitched seven really strong innings to get the win. Price only made it into the seventh inning, giving up nine hits (two of them home runs) and five runs during his time on the mound. Both pitchers were striking out a lot of hitters, but Lee managed to get out of his jams with barely any damage to the scoreboard. Now the two pitchers will face off again with everything on the line Tuesday.
Cliff Lee has already proved he is up to the task of winning a game like this one, having helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the 2009 World Series. He was at his best in the World Series against the New York Yankees, but his team came up just short in the games where he wasn’t pitching. Now Lee has a chance to get another franchise into a series with the Yankees, and all he needs to do is come up big a second time in this American League Division Series. It’s a lot of pressure to put on Lee, especially for a franchise that has never played in the World Series before.
The Rays-Rangers Game 5 start time is 5:07 p.m. PT (8:07 p.m. ET), and will be taking place at Tropicana Field on Oct. 12. The Rays have even opened up 5,000 additional seats in order to really pack the stadium, seats which have obstructed views, but which could increase the revenue and crowd noise for this game.
The winner of this ALDS gets to host the 2010 ALCS against the Yankees, but forcing a Game 5 in this series has already damaged the chances of either team. While the Yankees are resting, these teams are using up their aces on Tuesday night. It will be an exciting game, but it’s going to be a steep price before welcoming the Yankees to town.